Decoding Design

A Match.com for stalled architecture projects, financial suitors

Posting in Architecture

Many architecture projects are currently experiencing delays because of funding challenges. Inspired by online dating sites, the American Institute of Architects is creating a database to introduce stalled buildings to potential investors.

Single people aren't the only ones in need of a matchmaker--why not viable architectural concepts and potential investors?

Citing online dating powerhouse Match.com as an influence, the American Institute of Architects is gearing up to launch a service that pairs building projects in need of funding and suitable funders. The AIA hopes the online database will go live by the end of October or early November.

The plan is to create a Web-based resource that will list projects in need of cash to be completed and attract financial backers. Architects can list a project's location, size, and other data, as well as the financing sought. Investors can search the database to find the types of buildings they're interested in funding. By the time of the site's launch, the AIA's staff will enter all information into the database, but the organization plans to allow architects to upload project information themselves. Any architect can submit a stalled project's information by emailing StalledProjects@AIA.org.

The AIA is developing the database as a response to an AIA survey of its membership conducted earlier in 2011 in which two-thirds of respondents said they had at least one project put on the back burner because of lack of funds. Cleverly adapting the online dating model to the worlds of design, construction, and real-estate development, the AIA might just be able to help those projects find a number of new financial suitors and, ideally, eventually make the right funding match.

via Architectural Record

Image: XFLaw/Wikimedia Commons

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Reena Jana

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Reena Jana has written for the New York Times, Wired, Harvard Business Review online, Fast Company, Architectural Record, Artforum, Time Out New York, Harper's Bazaar, and GQ. Previously, she was the innovation department editor at BusinessWeek. She holds degrees from Columbia University and Barnard College. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure